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Anyone else's ears ringing?

The past couple months I've noticed a swelling, silent void around me.  You know that feeling after you've been to a concert; when you walk from the club to your car, open the door and get in, and in the silence of your car your ears ring as they adjust back to a normal environment?  That's kind of what it feels like.

It seems up until recently everyone had a cause to rally behind: Darfur, Uganda, AIDS, clean water, adoption, breast cancer, global poverty, depression - and on down the list of thousands of worthwhile causes.  Everyone was doing it from Bono and Chris Martin, to the GAP, to local kids who organized benefit shows at their local rock clubs, to Facebook friends who sent benefit invite after benefit invite.

The void that I've noticed is the one left by those voices.  Those voices that were so vigilantly campaigning for the defenseless or vulnerable have oddly gone mute.  And, my question is why now?  Why, as our government just crammed an 1,100 page stimulus package through congress and is about to flush a Scrooge McDuck amount of money down the toilet is everyone scattering?  Why, as we're about to spend $500 MILLION dollars on improvement projects to the National Institute of Health's facilities is no one asking if that tremendous amount of money could be spent on cancer or AIDS research?  Where are the urgent voices crying out for food and clean water for Africa when we're about to spend $450 MILLION dollars so NASA can do climate modeling (a government agency that already receives money in the annual budget)?  I guess we'll be able to help them graph or map where their rain isn't falling instead of actually giving them food or some kind of agricultural assistence.  Where is the pleading for social justice as we're about to spend $150 MILLION dollars on a museum instead of creating jobs or putting food in mouths and clothes on backs?

People vehemently opposed the war in Iraq, often citing the price tag that came along with it.  Not like I think that was the most deftly planned or executed thing our country has ever done, but it seems like instead of spending money on a military operation, we just diverted the objective of our financial irresponsibility.  

This package is the result of our country's grotesque and twisted appetite.  From what I understand it's supposed to symbolize a change of direction but it just looks like more of the same.  In two rushed votes in Washington DC we traded one faulty money pit for another, and I hardly heard a peep.  And, in that peepless void, justice wasn't done for those who need it the most. 


Is it just me or are anyone else's ears ringing?



[EDIT: Please see my addendum here.]


It is interesting how being on a different continent can change your perspective (or not); you in Asia and I'm currently in Africa (Bongolo Evangelical Hospital in southern Gabon). I agree that there seems to be less outcry on behalf of various "causes." However, it's less than a month since the inauguration, so we may just be dealing with people taking a breath, vagaries of the news cycle. Outcries have to compete with news about a new president and a tanking economy and what the new president is trying to do to prevent a total economic collapse. The causes are still there and their advocates will speak up again, I suspect.
It may be useful to separate your political opinions from your apparent moral dismay over the absence of people speaking out for their causes (or you hearing them speak out). Not all born again believers in our Redeemer vote Republican and believe in small government. (I did happen to vote for McCain, but it was after considerable soul searching). Some people believe that Roosevelt's New Deal actually made the Great Depression worse, most economists do not. Believing that government activism and deficit spending will ameliorate economic disaster may or may not be mistaken, but it is not a moral failure.
There probably are some activists, who would otherwise be speaking out, who have the sense that they have reached the promised land and now government, under new management, will devote resources to their causes. These may be very happy with the way some of this massive government cash flow is going to go. They expect their cause to get its share. They may (or may not) become disillusioned as the reality plays out. They may start up their activism again. There are others who understand that government will not or cannot ever solve the problem their cause addresses, and they may either be speaking out and we just don't hear them due to the current news cycle noise, or they may be waiting until what they have to say has a better chance of being heard.
In any case, all we can do is keep on with what the Lord has given us to do. I really wouldn't worry too much about the yammering of the crowd and why it seems less now than before. It's really irrelevant to what I'm called to do, and perhaps to what you're called to do. Just a thought.

You rock, Doc! God bless you for your presence and work in Africa. And thanks for your thoughtful comments. You bring wisdom to the discussion.

Love your passion, Nick. Would that more people expressed their concerns as articulately and passionately as you. These are terrific questions worthy of reasonable responses. Unfortunately, our elected officials are either too preoccupied or too overwhelmed to offer satisfactory answers. So it's up to the community!

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